Last week I got informed that Mr Stephan Albani, a German MP (Bundestagsabgeordnete) visited the training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup during his field visit in the region. Here it is worthwhile to note that Mr Albani is a representative of that very region but also a member of the special commission of the German Parliament for Vocational Education and Training (VET) in the digital world of work (Enquete-Kommission “Berufliche Bildung in der digitalen Arbeitswelt“). Given this background, it was interesting to hear, what he thought of the use of digital tools to support apprentice training and further vocational learning in Bau-ABC. After all, a team of us from Institut Technik & Bildung (ITB), University of Bremen had worked together with Bau-ABC in the EU-funded project Learning Layers (2012-2016) to co-design and pilot test digital tools to support work process -oriented learning. The main result was the digital toolset Continue reading
Earlier this year I have blogged about problems that the Corona-crisis had caused for conferences. In that context I drew attention to the potential of ePosters – powered by Learning Toolbox (LTB) as support for transforming conferences into online events. At that time I was informed by the developers of the LTB of the requests that they had received and on their efforts to create appropriate solutions for different conferences.
(As regular readers of this blog already know, the Learning Toolbox was created in our EU-funded project Learning Layers to support workplace-based learning in construction sector. In that context our job as accompanying researchers was to document and support the practitioners’ and technical partners’ work during the co-design process. After the project some of the partners continued the further development of the LTB and introduced the concept of ePosters to support conferences. With this blog I have tried to keep Continue reading
In my latest post on this blog I reported on the new Support pages for users of Learning Toolbox (LTB) and Demonstration page with brief introduction and a video presentation. At the end of the post I mentioned that the developers of the LTB had also published three new videos that present innovative use of the LTB in the apprentice training of Bau-ABC Rostrup for different construction trades. These videos had been produced for promoting the use of LTB among other similar training centres in Germany. Therefore they are (for the moment) only available in German. All three videos are available on the following web page: https://support.ltb.io/fallvideos-learning-toolbox-im-bau-abc-rostrup/
Below I present some screenshots of these videos and then give a nutshell summary of the key messages that are conveyed by the respective videos.
Apprentice Jonas reporting on his carpenter’s project with the help of LTB
The two screenshots demonstrate, Continue reading
With my previous post I started a series to report on interviews with vocational teachers, trainers and supporting researchers or consultants for the TACCLE4-CPD project. The project seeks to develop continuing professional development (CPD) of teachers and trainers – with focus on enhancing digital competences. As I have mentioned, my work concentrates on the field of vocational education and training (VET). I still have some interviews on my list. Yet, it has been helpful to write down some points raised by full-time trainers of the training centre Bau-ABC. In this second post I will draw attention to the use of the digital toolset that we have co-developed in the Learning Layers project. I will start with the transition from the common project work to using the main product after the project.
Getting clarity on terms of service and permissions to use the toolset
The Learning Layers (LL) project had Continue reading
This week our institute – Institut Technik & Bildung (ITB) of the University of Bremen – has hosted a study visit of a prominent delegation from Namibia. This study visit is part of a cooperation process that has been started with smaller steps and now there is an ongoing discussion, how to deepen the cooperation. As I have not been involved in these discussions I leave it to my colleagues and to the Namibian authorities to find the bast ways forward.
As a part of their program the delegation visited on Tuesday two interesting organisations in the nearby region. With the training centre Bau-ABC I had had active cooperation for many years in the EU-funded Learning Layers project. But in the follow-up phase I had only had a chance to make some occasional visits. As a contrast, I had not visited the vocational school BBS Wildeshausen before. Instead, I had Continue reading
Some time ago we were pleased to announce the our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project had received the European VET Research Excellence 2018 Award in the context of the European Vocational Skills Week 2018 in Vienna. Now we have another reason to celebrate. Our former partners from the LL project who have continued the development of the Learning Toolbox (LTB) with their start-up companies have been successful. The start-up company Kubify that develops LTB for ePosters has won the
#IBTMWorld Tech Watch Award 2018 at the international event of conference organisers.
For us, the LL partners, who have been intensively involved in the co-design, co-development and introduction of LTB in the North-German construction sector, this is great news. Also, we are happy that we have piloted successfully with the ePosters at the European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) and in its VETNET section in Bolzano last September. However. looking Continue reading
This week I have had a chance to participate in some working meetings that have discussed further work with the “Learning Toolbox – LTB”. As readers of this blog have learned during the last few years, the LTB was the main result of the Construction pilot of our EU-funded project “Learning Layers LL” (2012 – 2016). In the project researchers, technical partners and application partners in North Germany were involved in the co-design of the LTB and in the pilot testing of this integrative toolset in apprentice training and in the coordination of construction work. LTB was built as an integrative toolset that linked together mobile apps, resource tiles and communication tiles. As such it has facilitated project-based learning of construction sector apprentices in the training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup. In a similar way it has facilitated the cooperation and coordination work of construction site manager in a special project of Continue reading
One of the highlights in the Construction pilot of the Learning Layers (LL) project in 2015 was the training campaign based on the “Theme Room” approach in the training centre Bau-ABC Rostrup. Originally the idea of such a campaign was initiated by the traininers (Lehrwerkmeister) of Bau-ABC in their internal discussions. They wanted to have a flexible training model that would link to each other regular presence workshops and self-organised learning with peer tutoring and online support. This was brought together in the concept of “Theme Rooms” (Themenräume).
1. The “Theme Room” approach takes shape and is implemented
The key idea of the Theme Room concept was to agree on a set of key themes that would be covered by parallel (or successive) workshops. The continuation of learning should also be supported by online learning spaces and peer tutors. The participants will work their way through the set of Theme Rooms in an agreed time frame (to be adjusted to the tempo of the participants). With the help of online learning spaces and peer tutoring the participants should be supported to make their way through the learning tasks in the Theme Rooms.
Screenshot 1 and 2: Grouping into Theme Rooms and Overview on learning materials
In the preparation the following set of themes was considered for the Theme Room training:
- Use of social media as support for learning
- Preparation of digital learning materials
- Intellectual property rights, licensing and sharing information
- Use of Learning Toolbox (LTB) as an integrative toolset.
In the detailed planning we chose to start with fewer themes and to organise two workshops for each of the two selected key themes. We agreed to start with the themes ‘Social media’ and ‘Digital learning materials’. The theme ‘Intellectual property rights’ was then introduced by a short contributions from a special tutor (Dirk Stieglitz) who visited the groups one after another. Finally, we agreed to postpone the introduction of the Learning Toolbox (LTB) to a later phase of the Theme Room training.
With these content-related preparations we then started the training campaign that involved the whole training staff of Bau-ABC (in Rostrup) and the parallel centre ABZ (in Mellendorf). For each parallel group (altogether 5) we appointed one peer tutor from Bau-ABC staff (Lothar Schoka, Kevin Kuck, Markus Pape, Stefan Wiedenstried, Melanie Campbell) and a co-tutor from the ITB team (Pekka Kämäräinen, Joanna Burchert, Lars Heinemann, Werner Müller, Ludger Deitmer). In addition, Dirk Stieglitz served as a special tutor and Jaanika Hirv (Tallinn University) was supporting the overall implementation of the training.
2. Interim assessment after the first Theme Room workshops
Insights into the thematic workshops and into the learning experiences will be given in another article (see Peer learning and use of digital media in Theme Room workshops). Therefore I will make a shortcut to the interim assessment that took place after the cycle of four workshops in a joint wrap-up meeting in Bau-ABC. Below I have picked up some points from the discussion:
a) The learning experiences in the groups
The participants from Bau-ABC started with comments on their special learning experiences and with positive feedback on the learning climate in the groups. Here, it was worthwhile to note that several positive comments came from participants who indicated themselves as beginners. Also Director Emken (in the role of a participant) emphasised the importance that everyone had a chance to participate as a peer learner (and to learn more in one’s own pace). In this respect there was no pressure to try to know more (and to show more) than one was able.
Screenshots 3 and 4: Reporting on learning by two groups with their GoConqr mindmaps
b) Feedback on practical arrangements
Concerning the practicalities, there were several comments. Firstly, the timing of the sessions on Friday afternoon was not considered quite ideal for such learning new things. Yet, we could agree that the groups had always overcome the fatigue and got inspired during the sessions. We got a clear signal that it was worthwhile to have two workshops for the same theme and a to maintain continuity across the themes. In a similar way the trainers appreciated the continuation of work with the same tutors in their groups.
c) Organisational implications
Director Emken referred to the need for Bau-ABC to position itself as users of digital media, web tools and mobile technologies in training. In this respect Emken emphasised that Bau-ABC is in the position of learner and has to make progress, but it is clearly moving on step by step. Here, Emken reminded that Bau-ABC needs to keep its industrial counterparts with it on the journey. From this perspective it was clear to him and to the participants that there is a commitment to continue with the Theme Room program and to make the best of it.
Altogether, the comments were positive and expressed willingness to work further with such training. We as Learning Layers partners were pleased to conclude the event by looking forward to good continuation. The Theme Room training had made its case and provided a good basis for the next steps.
Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 3, 1/2016
With my latest blog I started a series of posts to wrap up the experiences of our EU-funded Learning Layers (LL) project. As I mentioned,we are in the phase of concluding our project. For us this is not just a matter of presenting our results with individual reports or demonstrating the achievements with individual tools. An essential part of this phase is to reflect on our experiences on the whole – what have we learned and achieved together. I started my reflections with the theme ‘digital transformation’ and how we have experienced it as lived practice and as research challenge. In this second post I try to describe, how this has characterised our work as researcher partners in research & development dialogue with our application partners in the Construction pilot of the LL project.
The process dynamics: Research & Development dialogue with multiple activities and many iterations
Shortly before Continue reading
Pekka Kämäräinen and Joanna Burchert
The application partner organisation Agentur and the affiliated organisations Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen (NNB) and Norddeutsches Zentrum für Nachhaltiges Bauen (NZNB) joined in the Learning Layers during the time when the new exhibition centre and office building of the NZNB was under construction. During the Application Partner Day (APD) visit (Y1) the colleagues from these organisations outlined plans, how to incorporate digital media and web tools into the concept of a “Learning exhibition”. In the Y1 Design Conference (Helsinki) these plans were integrated into the design idea Captus: Capturing of knowledge and experiences with the help of digital media and web tools. Now, in April 2015 the inaugural ceremony of the building took place and the Learning Exhibition “nachhaltig. bauen. erleben” (sustainable. construction work. lived experience) was opened.
The opening ceremony gave an overview on different activities that are promoted by the host organisations. The subsequent inaugural presentations and demonstrations in the exhibition area gave insights into materials, construction techniques and equipment for ecological construction work. In the presentations the hosts informed visitors of the role of digital media (as support for further learning) and demonstrated the in-built applications of Augmented Reality in particular exhibition areas. In these presentations the hosts made transparent that the use of digital media and web applications had been taken up due to the participation in Learning Layers project.
The Learning Layers team from ITB and Pontydysgu had a small information stand that provided background information on the project and on parallel co-design processes. In addition to this the team members made interviews with the hosts and visitors. In these talks the team explored possibilities for further introduction of Learning Layers tools.
In the discussions with the hosts we concluded that the opening of the exhibition provided the basis for application partner Agentur and the affiliated network NNB to follow more closely the pilot implementation of Learning Layers system solution (Layers Box) and the deployment of Learning Toolbox in Bau-ABC.
Learning Toolbox (LTB) Chronicle Vol. 2, 1/2015